Many people find it difficult to be on the receiving end of care.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people who
have helped family, friends and neighbours their whole lives, and
perhaps taken care of a spouse during an illness. Now, they need
care, and they’re feeling uncomfortable about it.
That’s normal. For some people, the shift from providing care to
needing it feels like losing a sense of purpose and meaning.
For anyone struggling with this transition, start with this question:
what do you like about assisting others? Usually, the answer has to
do with feeling great satisfaction in making someone’s life easier, and
in tapping into qualities such as kindness and patience. Think of how
happy you feel when you give, or even talk about giving. Why not give
others the opportunity to experience that same happiness by allowing
them to help you?
Giving and receiving are intertwined. When we’re the giver, we’re
also the receiver, and the reverse is true. Adapting to this change of
perspective is not easy. Just remember, being a grateful receiver now is
the gift you can offer someone else. That way, they too can experience
the pleasures of giving.
Dr. Amy D’Aprix
is an
internationally recognized
gerontologist and expert
on issues related to aging.
She has extensive
background working with
older adults and their
caregiving families, as
well as educating other
professionals about the
needs of these individuals.
If you have a question for
Dr. Amy, please contact us at